I was browsing through an antique mall one day with a friend. While looking through all the hidden treasures we came across a wooden yoke. We both thought about how great of a visual reminder it would be to have hanging on our wall. After that day this verse kept showing up in what seemed like everything I read. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:29&30 NKJV
How many times do I try to wear other yokes? Yokes of unbelief, fear, anxiety, doubt…that only turn into bondage. But, Jesus is telling me that His yoke is freeing…
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 MSG
In my own humanness I tend to fall back into those other yokes and try to carry them around instead. That’s why I need to have those visual reminders like Jacob did….
“God spoke to Jacob: “Go back to Bethel. Stay there and build an altar to the God who revealed himself to you when you were running for your life from your brother Esau.” Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, “Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we’re going to Bethel. I’m going to build an altar there to God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere since…He built an altar there and named it El-Bethel (God-of-Bethel) because that’s where God revealed himself to him when he was running from his brother.” Genesis 35:1-3 & 6-7 MSG
“And that’s how it happened that Jacob arrived all in one piece in Shechem in the land of Canaan – all the way from Paddan Aram. He camped near the city. He bought the land where he pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, the father of Schem. He paid a hundred silver coins for it. Then he built an altar there and named it El-Elohe-Isreal (Mighty is the God of Israel).” Genesis 33:18-20 MSG
God revealed himself once again to Jacob, after he had come back from Paddan Aram and blessed him: “Your name is Jacob (Heel); but that’s your name no longer. From now on your name is Israel (God-Wrestler).” Genesis 35:9-10 MSG
As I sit here typing, the visuals are all around me. The bible verses taped to the wall, the journal in my hand and my word for the year, HOPE. Thank you Father that You are my Hope and that if I cling to You, the heaviness will fade away. In the quiet I hear You reminding me how desperately I need You.